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Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007, 21:52 GMT
London Irish 7-22 Saracens
London Irish's full-back Delon Armitage sizes up Kameli Ratuvou
London Irish's Armitage sizes up Kameli Ratuvou

London Irish (0) 7
Tries: Armitage
Cons: Armitage

Saracens (17) 22
Tries: Ratuvou, Castaignede, Jackson, De Vedia
Cons: Jackson

Saracens eased to a convincing win over London Irish in the Premiership at the Madejski Stadium on Friday.

Alan Gaffney's side led 17-0 at the break and scored four tries in all from Kameli Ratuvou, Thomas Castaignede, Glen Jackson and Tomas De Vedia.

Sarries' victory lifted them to third in the Premiership, above Bristol who play Northampton on Sunday.

London Irish could only manage a second-half converted try from full-back Delon Armitage.

The Exiles were seeking a sixth-straight win but were stunned by three Saracens tries in the first 15 minutes from left wing Ratuvou, full-back Castaignede and fly-half Jackson.

You would think we have to win two of them [last three games] to be sure of anything

Sarries coach Alan Gaffney

The visitors had to wait for the 76th minute before Dan Scarbrough kicked through for replacement winger De Vedia to score a fourth try and secure what could be a vital bonus in the play-off race.

London Irish welcomed back England fly-half Shane Geraghty, though Mike Catt and Andy Farrell were still injured, but the 20-year-old endured a torrid return from the Six Nations.

He saw an eighth-minute penalty bounce back off the posts, was beaten to a bouncing ball which set up the move that led to Jackson's try and then knocked-on after right-wing Topsy Ojo penetrated the Saracens midfield.

Geraghty's misery finally came to an end when he limped off in the 43rd minute to be replaced by Nils Mordt.

  • Saracens coach Alan Gaffney:
    "Two bonus point wins two weekends in a row is fantastic.

    "We played well. We were positive and had a lot of ambition. In the second half we just didn't have the ball but the boys dug in. Irish scored a very good try and were on a roll but we defended well.

    "Now we have Wasps away, Harlequins at home and Worcester away so we still have a job to do. You would think we have to win two of them to be sure of anything."

  • London Irish coach Brian Smith:
    "We didn't deserve to win. It was an important night to come out and be at our best against another form team and we weren't at our best.

    "The performance wasn't up to scratch and it's cost us some important points.

    "We have three more games to go and if we are good enough we will be there at the end."

    London Irish: Armitage; Ojo, Mapusaua, Flutey, Tagicakibau; Geraghty, Hodgson; Hatley, Russell, Lea'aetoa, Hudson, Casey (capt), Roche, Magne, Leguizamon.
    Replacements: Collins, Paice, Kennedy, Murphy, Danaher, Everitt, Mordt.

    Saracens: Castaignede; Scarbrough, Sorrell, Powell, Ratuvou; Jackson, de Kock; Yates, Byrne, Johnston, Fullarton, Raiwalui (capt), Chesney, Hill, Skirving.
    Replacements: Cairns, Mercey, Vyvyan, Seymour, Rauluni, Penney, de Vedia.

    London Irish 16-13 Wasps
    18 Mar 07 |  English
    Saracens 36-5 Bristol
    18 Mar 07 |  English
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